bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 21.05.2018 | Name days: Ingmārs, Ernestīne, Akvelīna
LatviaLatvia

Professor: Martin Schulz’s becoming Germany’s Foreign Affairs Minister would not be good for Latvia

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUThe possibility of Martin Schulz, leader of Social Democratic Party of Germany, becoming the country’s foreign affairs minister would not be desirable for Latvia, said Prof. Ojārs Skudra of the Social Sciences Faculty of University of Latvia.

He explains that there is no reason for Latvia to be happy about this development, because SDP stands in favour of lifting sanctions against Russia and recognizing Crimea de facto as territory part of the Russian Federation. At the same time, Skudra is sceptical about Schulz stepping down as the party’s leader and taking up post in as Foreign Affairs Minister. According to the professor, such a step would be considered seriously only if the vote regarding joint formation of the government between SPD and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative block (CDU/CSU) turns out positive.

«Right now it is no more than speculation. In this case it is unclear which post would be given to Germany’s current foreign affairs minister Sigmar Gabriel. We should also remember that during Bundestag elections, Schulz’s slogan was that there would not be a ‘large coalition’ and that he would not work in Merkel’s government. Now it seems he has changed his mind about the coalition and even plans to take office as foreign affairs minister. Such a move would go against what he had promised during the pre-election campaign,» said Skudra.

The expert points out that it is currently hard to predict how members of SPD might vote in the internal referendum. Skudra says chances are 50/50. Skudra is sceptical about the chances there being a large number of supporters for the ‘large coalition’ concept.

«If the vote is negative, a minority government variant is possible. However, such a government is unlikely to last long. We can expect an early-term elections in summer in such a case,» added Skudra, nothing that surveys in Germany also show that should early parliamentary elections take place, SPD’s chances of winning ‘would not be high’.

According to the professor, reports from German media about CDU/CSU giving in to SPD in coalition talks are an exaggeration. «CDU should have thought of ways to convince SPD to join the ‘large coalition’ and secure at least 51% of votes in favour of the large coalition. All concessions provided so far were given to avoid an early election,» adds Skudra.

He emphasizes that the agreement will likely gather support from a minimal amount of SPD members. Such a government would not be sustainable. The politologist is convinced that life will be hard for this government. «The largest opposition party in the Bundestag is Alternative for Germany (AfG), which is traditionally in charge of the budget committee, and SPD’s finance minister will likely fight with this party. Different surveys show that 51% or 47.5% of residents would vote in favour of a large coalition. If survey results start showing that less than half of all voters are prepared to vote for this government and AfD gains more support than SPD, it will be a catastrophe,» says the professor.

On Wednesday, German chancellor’s conservative block and centrist left social-democrats reached an agreement on formation of a new government.

DPA reports that in talks that lasted 20 hours, SPD managed to secure the seat of the employment and social welfare minister. The party also secured seats of the foreign affairs and finance ministers. Media report that the leader of CSU Horst Seehofer will likely become Germany’s Interior Affairs Minister.

It is also reported that Merkel’s block has also made certain concessions to the social democrats. Media report that parties have resolved their differences and have signed an agreement on the restoration of a large coalition. However, to accomplish this, conservatives will have to give away the finance minister’s post to SPD. Until now, this post was taken by CDU politician Wolfgang Soible. This will likely mean a change for Germany’s policy in Eurozone, media say.

Ref: 224.109.109.4201


Leave a reply

  1. Walter Burke says:

    And why does Latvia care about Crimea? Why are the U.S. sanctions against Russia (and the Russian counter-sanctions against the EU, Norway, U.S. and Canada) are good for Latvia? Are you competing with Russia as an exporter of natural gas and oil?

    I know you don’t like Russia for what they did to you and I can’t blame you for that (although you were implicated and thus it would be extremely unfair to absolve you of any responsibility for the crimes of the Soviet commissars in which you willingly participated), but you don’t make a 21st century policy based exclusively on grudges and how you feel about your oversized neighbor who is not going anywhere in the near future.

    Get a life, and how about a little pragmatism, for a change?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Carl says:

      Well, the answer is obvious. Anyone stating that the Russian invasion of Crimea was justified, will most likely also close both eyes, should Putin decide to invade the Baltic countries.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

First Russian floating nuclear power plant reaches Murmansk

Russia's floating nuclear power plant, after passing through the Baltic sea, has arrived in the Arctic port of Murmansk over the weekend as it prepares for its first mission, supplying electricity to an isolated Russian town across the Bering Strait from Alaska.

Foreign clients’ deposits in Latvian banks declined 27.1% in Q1 2018

Deposits of foreign clients attracted by Latvia’s banks have declined 27.1% in Q1 2018. At the end of March, it was EUR 5.869 billion, as reported by Finance and Capital Market Commission.

National Alliance proposes MEP Roberts Zīle as its prime minister candidate

The board of the National Alliance has decided to pick member of the European Parliament Roberts Zīle as its prime minister candidate for the 13th Saeima elections, as confirmed by the party.

Riga City Council changes internal rules again; each deputy given ten-minute limit for questions

On Monday, 21 May, Riga City Council changed its rules for Q&A sessions, providing a ten-minute limit for each deputy to ask questions. This is the third time the city council has changed its internal rules.

Committee head: EU funds would help secure meaningful education for youngsters

«Seven to eight thousand youngsters leave Latvia every year. While ten years ago 13 to 25 year old youngsters formed 20% of the country’s population, their proportion dropped to 13% in 2017,» says Saeima’s European Affairs Committee chairperson Lolita Čigāne.

River Emajõgi guarded by mass protest against pulp mill

In Tartu, human chain has been formed by about 4 500 people in protest against the plan to build a billion-euro pulp factory near the River Emajõgi, the organisers of the event have stated.

Association: loan repayment indexes improve in non-bank consumption loan segment

In 2017, members of Latvian Association of Alternative Financial Services issued in loans EUR 180.5 million. Compared to 2016, this is an increase of 6.9%. Members’ credit portfolio was EUR 88.7 million at the end of 2017, which is 8.1% more than a year ago.

Estonian producer prices higher by 2.1 on year, due to energy supplies

Estonian producer price index of industrial output increased by 2.1% between April 2017 and April this year, Estonian statisticians have estimated.

Vitol: limitation of shell companies’ activities cannot possibly affect transit companies

Changes to the law that provide restrictions for shell companies cannot possibly affect transit companies. Because of that, claims voiced prior to adoption of said amendments and their possible impact on transit sector seem rather confusing, says Vitol Baltic chairman Robert Kirkup.

De Facto: Latvian minister’s business partner manufactures ships for Russian army

Latvian Agriculture Minister Jānis Dūklavs’ business partner in Piebalgas alus brewery – Russian businessman Igor Shekhelev – manufactures ships for the Russian army, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV.

Property-sharing site Airbnb agrees to share owner income with tax authority

The home-renting service Airbnb has agreed to automatically report homeowners' income to tax authorities in Denmark in a landmark agreement, which is expected to make it easier to detect tax evasion by homeowners, who are renting out rooms and houses on the website.

Latvia shipped 11.7% more oil products in Q1 2018

As part of the postponed excise tax payment regime, the volume of oil products shipped from Latvia in Q1 2018 was 13,869 or 11.7% larger than the one recorded in the same period of 2017, according to data compiled by the State Revenue Service.

What have Italian makers of government agreed on?

In Italy, the two populist parties preparing form a national government have published joint policies including tax cuts, a guaranteed basic income for the poor and deportations of 500,000 migrants.

Thunderstorms expected in Latvia this week as well

On Monday, 21 May, weather in Latvia will not change much – dry and not cloudy for the most part. On Tuesday and Wednesday, however, precipitation areas will pass through Latvia, bringing heavy rainfall, thunderstorms and strong wind, as reported by Latvia’s Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. Liberal Movement to turn to court over VSD statements

The board of Lithuania's Liberal Movement has decided to turn to court over information published by the State Security Department, allegedly damaging the party's reputation.

BNN summary of the week: distorted state administration, Liepājas metalurgs recovery, and Latvia unemployment level

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Growth; Business; Fight; Future; Opinion

New approach to combating drunk drivers – forced correction programme

Latvia’s Justice Ministry reports that the administrative penalties reform proposes introducing stricter punishments for drunk drivers. If a person is caught drunk driving, their license would be confiscated. On top of that, to recover the license, that person would have to pass a social correction programme.

Latvian MEP to «cause a scandal» where he can to stop school reform

Members of the European Parliament Andrejs Mamikins and Miroslavs Mitrofanovs have gathered support from 114 of their fellow MEPs to request the Latvian government and Saeima to review the already approved amendments to the Education Law and General Education Law that govern realization of the national minorities’ school reform, as confirmed by Mamikins.

Germany criticises U.S. attempts to block Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

As to the controversial Nord Stram 2 Russian gas pipeline via Baltic sea to Germany, the German Economy has evaluated that American attempts to block it could be aimed at increasing U.S. a planned Russia-Germany gas pipeline to increase its own energy exports.

Number of complaints about taxi services at Riga International Airport on a rise

The number of complaints about taxi services at Riga International Airport continues to increase, said the airport’s board chairperson Ilona Līce in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Ryanair sees Estonia as important market, considers local hub option

Irish low-fare airline Ryanair considers Estonia an important market, the firm's chief executive Michael O'Leary noted while visiting Tallinn earlier in the week.

Minister: UN should act to call violators of international law to justice

«The United Nation Security Council, as the main institution maintaining peace and security, has a special responsibility, because its activities affect compliance with international law,» says Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

Banks to report private persons whose account turnover exceeds EUR 15,000

From 18 May onward, banks will have to report private persons whose annual account turnover exceeds EUR 15,000, as provided by the Cabinet of Ministers’ supported order, under which the State Revenue Service is to be provided with information about a private person’s turnover and balance.

Baltic States request expanding NATO’s battalion with air and naval forces

Baltic States plan to request expanding international NATO battalion with air and naval forces, as confirmed by Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Lino Linkevičiaus, who met with US President’s National Security Advisor John R. Bolton in Washington alongside his Latvian and Estonian colleagues.

Poland uncovers Russian hybrid war networks

Poland has detained a Russian national suspected of working with accomplices to stimulate social tension with neighbouring Ukraine and neutralised two Russian hybrid war networks, the Polish Internal Security agency has stated.